(Barcellona, 11 marzo 1927Barcellona, 7 aprile 2014)



Josep Maria Subirachs was born in the Poblenou neighborhood of Barcelona to Josep Subirachs Casanovas and Josepa Sitjar Ferrer. From a humble family, his father worked as a worker in a dyeing factory, and little Subirachs did not have the resources necessary to dedicate himself to architecture, his greatest vocation since he was young. Encouraged by his father to broaden his artistic streak, at the age of 14 he worked as an apprentice in an artistic laboratory, where he came into contact with artisanal processes. He subsequently carried out various works as an apprentice decorator, retoucher and advertising artist. Between 1942 and 1947 he was a pupil of the sculptor Enric Monjo, starting to attend evening drawing lessons at the Escuela de la Lonja.

In 1948 he held his first individual exhibition held at the Casa del Libro in Barcelona, ​​presenting several sculptures and drawings. He also exhibited in the following years in other exhibitions until 1957. In 1951 he obtained a scholarship from the Cercle Maillol of the French institute in Barcelona to study in Paris, where he came into contact for the first time with the European avant-garde, also being influenced in part by the sculptor Henry Moore. For a period of two years he lived in Belgium, where he began his international fame by receiving numerous commissions from the collector Rémy Vanhoidsenhoven.

In 1980 he was elected academician of the sculpture faculty of the Real Academia Catalana de Bellas Artes de San Jorge. Since then considered the most important living Catalan artist of the 20th century according to a survey conducted in 1997 by the newspaper La Vanguardia, he received numerous awards, including the Medalla de Oro al mérito en las Bellas Artes awarded by the Ministry of Education and Culture and the Creu de Sant Jordi by the Generalitat de Catalunya.

Suffering from Parkinson’s disease, which prevented him from continuing to work, he died on 7 April 2014 at the age of 87.